Robert Frank, Trolley, New Orleans, Silver Gelatin Print c. 1955

Robert Frank, Trolley, New Orleans, Silver Gelatin Print c. 1955


The style of Life Magazine and the legacy of the FSA are translated ironically in the work of Robert Frank. A Swiss photographer who traveled through the United states on a Guggenheim grant in the 1950’s, Frank caught the discontent and the discomfort in the very symbols that American’s hold dear. His book The Americans had an introduction by Walker Evans but no American publisher for many years. It had to be published in Europe since it showed too much in its subtle and not so subtle compositions.

Here we can see a pictures of segregation. It is hard for many of us to imagine that there was a time not so long ago when your seat on the bus was determined by the color of your skin. The individual prison of each of the inhabitants on this one bus is startling illustrated in this simple picture.

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